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SXSW 2018 - 5 standout performances by NYC artists

No surprise, SXSW 2018 was busy. With over 2000 acts from 63 countries performing this year, Austin was jam-packed with industry professionals and music fans all week. Downtown was a human ocean in the wee hours, the crowds were rowdy at venues like Dirty Dog and tamer at the Central Presbyterian Church. I waited in line for many of our favorite NYC artists at venues that were filled to capacity hours before they were meant to go on (I'm looking at you, Anna McClellan). Here's a short recap of my favorite performances from this year's SXSW. 

Beshken's Ben Shirken adeptly took us far away from the noise of 6th street and into an ethereal world of eclectic dance music with a nifty setup and bassist/guitarist Ian White at Burnside's Tavern on Wednesday. 

Jukebox the Ghost is currently based out of NYC recording their fifth album Off To The Races at Studio G in Brooklyn. The band put on a stunning show at the StubHub Stage on Wednesday night, playing old songs such as "Girl" and "Somebody," and also debuting "Fred Astaire" and "Everybody's Lonely," two singles from their upcoming record. Their final song of the night was a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" that had everyone, sober and not-so-sober, singing along every word.

Soccer Mommy played songs from her acclaimed new album Clean in a great set at Cheer Up Charlie's on Friday, followed later that night at the same venue by Brooklyn's Topaz Jones, whose soulful, crowd-pleasing performance had us laughing and dancing alike. "Has anyone seen Stranger Things?" he asked, introducing his 2016 song "Winona."

Finally, my absolute favorite performance of this year's SXSW was Kitten's at Mohawk Outdoor (pictured above). Originally from LA, the band recently moved to NYC and enrolled local musicians BITS (Blu and Rex Detiger) in the live lineup. Kitten's frontwoman Chloe Chaidez was a delight to watch: an unusual burst of energy and incredibly agile gymnast, all without missing a note or a beat. She finished out the night with a 20-foot jump (more or less) into the audience and then sitting down at the drum kit, completely nailing the rhythm section of the last song and taking us all by surprise. -Geena Kloeppel

Debut A.I.O.S. EP Available for Streaming & Download

Recording under the moniker of A.I.O.S., which is short for Analog Intelligence Operating System, Keith Bowman recently packaged a collection of tracks for the simply titled, EP 01. Entrenched in an electronic groove, peppered with space-age sampling transmissions, trumpet blasts with a classic, technology-warping feel, an homage harkening back to the early 90’s. There’s a complexity of several spinning plates of sound, and that loop vibrantly serves as the continuous timeline for the puzzle’s pieces to link together.


Trace Mountains brings hypnotic indie-pop to Alphaville 03.30

Trace Mountains, fronted by LVL UP's Dave Benton, is a local act you want to keep your ears on: just listen to "Cary's Dreams" off their forthcoming LP, A Partner to Lean On, dropping March 30th on Figure 2 RC. "Cary's Dreams" is at once subtle and upfront, humming with muted emotion and the crackling-yet-contained energy of a thundercloud. Benton's lyrics have a quality of magical realism, infusing mundane social observations (by an unreliable narrator) with a sense of profound clarity, all the while imploring the listener to follow him into a state of mystical, ineffable otherness. "And while Robert opened his mouth to me/She was crawling in the carpet/Deep in disbelief of me/And right there I could see/That Bobby and her friends were part of me/In Cary's dreams there are always animals in the greenery." On their own, the lyrics may not carry much significance, but combined with Benton's alluring pop melodicism and the song's fuzzy, synth-pop arrangement, the total package is downright compelling. Trace Mountains is playing a record release show at Alphaville on March 30th, with support from Operator Music Band and Spirit Was. Listen to "Cary's Dreams" below! - Ethan Ames



Ticket Giveaway: Instupendo & Digitalism at Coda March 30

Philly's own Instupendo and Germany's Digitalism will be bringing their ethereal dance grooves to Coda on Friday, March 30. To enter for a chance to win a pair of tix, just send an email to thedelimagazinephiladelphia@gmail.com with the subject line "Faces I Know". Please also include your cell number in the body of the message (in case of an emergency). Good luck! 


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